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May 3, 2007


Matt & Kim talk to the Waterloo Record.

Of course, Matt & Kim's music has something to do with it as well. Having played in more traditional bands before this, Johnson says he was ready to try something different. "I started having a problem being in a band with five other guys, where writing music became a compromise and it all got watered down because of that. Once Kim got interested in playing drums, it was easy to focus on making this happen. It just became this new experiment for both of us that we sort of played out in front of our friends at first. For about our first 30 shows we only did three songs. After that we did five songs for a while."

The Guardian reports that M John Harrison has won the Arthur C Clarke award for science fiction with his novel, Nova Swing.

Popmatters examines the recent batch of Warren Zevon reissues.

Drive-By Trucker Patterson Hood talks to the Arizona Star.

You managed to snag famed studio organist Spooner Oldham for this tour, and he will be with you in Tucson. How did you pull that off?

"He has been a family friend my whole life. It's the same deal with (bassist) Shonna (Tucker). She grew up with his daughter, so he is someone we have a lot of history with. To actually have him get on the bus and do a tour with us is kind of like a gift from the gods or something. He will also be appearing on our next album.

"We'll try to show him as good a time as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young did. I bet we will be more fun. We probably won't pay him nearly as well, but we'll be more fun."

USA Today asks booksellers for the best of 2007's summer books.

MTV News has the tracklist for an upcoming Smashing Pumpkins tribute album.

Harp interviews former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker.

HARP: Because there’s a different lyrical palette to the solo album as opposed to the band’s past works, would you say something opened you up before writing the new record?

I suppose isolation would do because I wrote it in Paris after I moved here. I don’t know many people here so it really did give me fair room for reflection. I mean, I’ve lived in London for some 30 years before that. It’s strange. There’s a time that I normally write about. And it is based on personal experience. But there wasn’t as much of one, really, as I was staying at home looking after a kid quite a lot. It’s maybe a bit more reflective. There’s a bit, too, of Carson McCullers. “Big Julie” is based explicitly on…

Paper interviews Chan Marshall of Cat Power.

"When they first asked me to be in the Chanel campaign, I thought about my family background -- coming from a family of cotton pickers, a line of women with no real male presence," Marshall explains. "Then I thought about the fact that Coco [Chanel] was abandoned as a child and raised by monks. That's how she learned to sew." In Marshall's mind, that made a Chanel jewelry campaign seem like "a piece of cake."

The Portland Mercury interviews artist and photographer Daniel Peterson, whose work has graced the covers of albums by YACHT and Panther.

Do you enjoy working on album art?

I like working on record covers. It's a fun challenge trying to balance my aesthetic with the musicians' music and ideas. For the next one I have lined up, I am planning on doing all of the artwork myself and I think it will mostly be drawings.

The Boston Herald and Slate examine US presidential candidate Mitt Romney's professes choice of favorite book, L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth.

Seattle Weekly interviews LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy.

Can you recall the first time you heard a piece of music that made you want to create your own?

I don't ever remember not wanting to make music, so I can't really pinpoint a moment. I did have a cassette recorder and would record little movies, I guess. I made a drum set out of coffee cans. I used to record the refrigerator humming because it was my favorite sound, but the recording never came out very well.

The Detroit Free Press also interviews Murphy.

New York magazine's Vulture blog lists "the latest mp3s to hit the blogs."

Esquire and the Portland Mercury review Michael Chabon's new novel, The Yiddish Policemen's Union.

Cocorosie's Bianca Casady talks to the Independent Weekly.

"There's something oddly liberating about working in really popular styles of music," Casady explains, "making something that could almost, but not quite, blend in with what's on the radio, and still presenting something very intimate and honest, in a way that's not obscured by our more cobwebby sounds."

The Horn Book lists kid-lit bloggers to watch.

Drowned in Sound recaps April's music releases.

Retrocrush is counting down the 100 worst cover songs, one song a day.

Drowned in Sound interviews Jeremy Barnes of A Hawk and a Hacksaw.

How is being part of the Leaf family? Do you find the label’s incredibly varied roster particularly refreshing? Do your own musical influences generally come from genres beyond those you operate within?

I think that the best record labels are the ones whose roster looks like a great record collection - the kind that is not obsessive with only one genre. I think leaf fits into that very well.

The Futurist is sharing two mp3s from Joseph Arthur's WOXY Lounge Act session.

Thanks to Waved Rumor for pointing out this Creem interview with the Replacements from 1986.

Let it be said at the onset that Westerberg impressed me as one of the most charming guys I’ve ever interviewed—honest, frank, funny and definitely not stoopid. Stinson is OK, too, and far from dumb. But being 19 years old, he seems to feel he has an "image" to uphold—and almost appears schizophrenic in how he reacts to us as the interview progresses. But what the hell—they give us lots to drink, and, before long we’re having one helluva good time!

PBS's Remotely Connected blog has posted my review of the American Masters program, Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built.

see also:

this week's CD releases


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